Saturday, July 15, 2006

I wonder how the US public would react

if this quote from the Army Chief of Staff about the current status of US involvement in Iraq was widely known.

"The challenge … is becoming more complex, and it's going to continue to be. That's why I'll tell you I think we're closer to the beginning than we are to the end of all this."

Yup, there's no light at the end of the tunnel, there's no insurgency in its "last throes," there's only an ongoing "long, hard slog" on which we've just begun to engage.

Have a nice summer.

I grind my teeth

when I read articles like this, showing the agonizing futility of our "mission" in Iraq, and our wretched incompetence in working toward it. For the last two years, at least--since all other fabricated justifications for our waste of lives and treasure in Iraq evaporated--our stated task has been to create a sound local force to secure the nation. And now we learn that all we've done is arm sects of Muslims who, of course, have decades of scores to settle.

Stay the course? What course?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Proxy wars

During the Cold War, there were plenty of these. Now we have an even more insidious form, where the purpose is merely to deflect attention from the US policies and activities in the world. Bush is remaining silent, allowing the carnage to develop between historic adversaries in the region. This is a perfect situation for Bush. He can stand back and allow CNN and Faux News cover this new war, so that our ongoing misery in Iraq falls back into the back pages and Bush once again becomes a war president.

Problem: With "traditional Democrats" (Hillary, Biden and, yes, Lieberman) supporting Israel blindly, always, they'll parrot Bush's hands-off policy. So the same schism within the Democratic party that has split it over Iraq's misery will continue, empowering the Republicans to claim they're on the side of the "angels," namely the long-enshrined Israelis.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Straight out of Orwell. Note in this official Centom press release that the person whom they call a "terrorist" throughout the release was engaged in a firefight with "coalition forces" when he was killed. No terror involved, no murder of civilians, just armed resistance to the occupying forces. That's not a terrorist under any definition--except the Pentagon's. And that' s precisely how words get used, their meaning distorted, to fit the government's agenda.

An army of computer geeks

So, the wash-out rate of Army enlistees has declined dramatically, because boot camp demands have been lessened. No more miles-long marches, no more DI tirades. Instead of physically fit soldiers, we'll now be defended by nerds. Makes sense to me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Occupation, bigtime

It's time for Americans to understand--deeply, coherently--what the US role in Iraq is. We're a victorious invading army, able to control by fiat the governance of the country, the absolute dictators of the policies enforced by the leaders we installed. When we frown on amnesty for Iraqis who killed our troops, such amnesty disappears. When we suggest no pullout time for our forces, no such time is announced. And now, when our troops rape and murder Iraqi civilians, we demand immunity for them--and the Iraqi government accedes to our demands, seeking only to view the proceedings by which the malefactors are "brought to justice."

The U.S. finds itself in a grotesquely impenetrable state. We stay because we cannot quit. We remain because no one has the courage to ask us to leave. And we have no place to go, no other place.

Welcome to America, world.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Worse than VietNam

In VietNam, we did battle with two different groups: South Vietnamese who opposed our puppet regime and sought to take over the country on their own; and North Vietnamese who supplied the former with materiel and troops. In Iraq, on the other hand, we're doing battle with Sunni insurgents, foreign fighters and now--with fury--Shia followers of various leaders who are in power in the Iraqi parliament, including the Medhi army that controls much of Baghdad. No wonder our troops are coming home bewildered. They have no clue whom or why they're killing in Iraq.

It's no surprise to me

that, as a recent Gallup poll has found, "Suggestions that the United States engage in some type of gradual withdrawal [from Iraq] increase significantly as educational level increases." I'm not talking about bigotry here, just education, because of the dumbing-down effect of most news sources. A similar poll would, I have no doubt, correlate educational level to news sources, to show that the lower the education the more likely to receive news from formulaic sources, like TV networks and news agencies.

Garbage in, garbage out.